Health activists have defended a bill that would ban advertisements promoting infant formula milk for children aged under three years old, brushing aside manufacturers’ protests.
The row over infant formula advertising is heating up with the National National Legislative Assembly (NLA) about to consider the bill. The manufacturers say that scientific evidence backs the health…
The manufacturers say that scientific evidence backs the health benefits which their products have for children, while health advocates stand firm on their campaign for breastfeeding and concerns over…
The Paediatric Nutrition Manufacturers Association recently petitioned the NLA to change parts of the bill it regards as too strict, but the Breastfeed Centre Foundation wants to keep it as is.
“This bill is a necessary step that must occur,” said Siriphon Kanchana, chairwoman of the foundation, which comprises a network of doctors, nurses, nutritionists and legal experts.
Her foundation backs the bill, which would ban ads for formula milk products for children up to three years old, reasoning that breast milk is more healthy for infants.
Principally, every infant must only be breastfed until they are six months old, but this does not mean mother’s milk becomes less important after that age, Dr Siriphon said. Children should be fed breast…
Children should be fed breast milk along with food, until they are “two years old or more”, she said.
This is an important period because children will gradually adapt themselves to eating three meals a day, gradually making mother’s milk a supplementary source of nutrition, Dr Siriphon said, disagreeing…
The proposal that the ban apply only to kids under 12 months came from the Pediatric Nutrition Manufacturer Association when it petitioned the NLA on Friday.
The association claimed the government should allow milk ads for children aged more than a year old to avoid “some negative impacts” on children’s nutrition.
However, Dr Siriphon doubted some advertisers’ claims that powdered milk is good for brain development in infants.
The claims are exaggerated and can mislead parents who might be tempted to ignore other methods to develop their children’s brains, she said.
“We want to represent infants who cannot talk and say they want their mothers’ milk,” the foundation chairwoman said.
The bill does not prohibit milk formula sales, but it aims to deal with exaggerated ad claims, she added. Powdered milk can be made similar to mother’s milk by only 20%, but it has been advertised in…
Powdered milk can be made similar to mother’s milk by only 20%, but it has been advertised in a way that makes people think it can replace breast milk or is even better than a mother’s milk, Dr Siriphon…
The association also seeks a grace period of one year to allow milk manufacturers to adjust to the new law.
The bill, to control marketing promotion for food for infants and toddlers, was approved by the cabinet before being forwarded to the NLA on Nov 8.